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Fiasco in Texas

danarhea

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Looks like we have dodged a bullet here in Houston. The part of the storm we end up getting will be weaker than that of Alicia, which I was in back in 1983, and we are on the good side of this storm too. However, I feel bad for Port Arthur and Beaumont. They are going to catch the major part of this storm.

Now for my rant, and I have one hell of a lot to say about this cluster<insert f word here> of an evacuation plan.

Because of the news media's frenzy and hype of this storm, at least 24 people have already died. More blame can fall on city, state, and local officials, who I feel have acted in a reckless and negligent manner. Why am I saying this? Let me first tell you how I approached this storm, and then you will know. I am not a meteorology professional, so once you see my mindset for this storm, then you will see exactly where I am coming from.

1) First of all, I had access to the National Weather Service discussions, as does anyone else who goes to http://www.nhc.noaa.gov . Days ago, the NWS forecasted this storm to go to a cat 5, and then to weaken to a 4 or possibly a 3. I repeat, this was days ago.

2) I stocked up on water, juices, and mre's for 2 weeks, just to be on the safe side. I knew there was a possibility I might need them. I also boarded up the windows on all sides of my home, exept the west side, which I taped, figuring on weaker winds on that side, if the winds should blow in that direction. I had been through Alicia before, so was thoroughly prepared.

3) Next, instead of joining the mass exodus out of Houston, I stayed put, and planned my evacuation, if necessary, in a direction that was opposite of where everyone was going. Turned out that, if I needed to evacuate, the Southwest freeway, heading towards Mexico, was not blocked at all. I called a motel in Victoria, which is northeast of Corpus Christi, and booked a room. Still I made no move to evacuate yet, but continued to monitor the NWS web site. If, somehow, the hurricane were NOT to weaken, and continued to come to Houston, I had a straight shot down the highway nobody else was taking, and would spend the next several days, along with my family, in a comfortable motel room, out of the way of any danger whatsoever.

4) Turns out that I did not need to evacuate at all, since the storm had made a turn to the Beaumont-Port Arthur area, and even if it didnt, I was well prepared to ride out the weakening storm right here in Houston. The worst that could happen would be to lose electric power for a few weeks. That could still happen, but is doubtful at this point. If power is lost, it will be gone for only a few days at the most.

5) So now, here I am, typing this rant.

Now you are beginning to get an idea of the mess the govermnent and news media have made of this evacuation, and people have died and may continue to die because of this gross incompetence.

1) The news media is in a position that it is better to be safe than sorry if they want to keep their jobs. They saw the same data from the NWS that I did, but their reaction was to tell everyone to either get out of Houston or they might die. This was accompanied by graphics that, in no uncertain terms, gave people the impression that Houston was going to be pretty much flattened by this storm. Nothing could have been further from the truth, since the NWS, based on scientific evidence, predicted the strenghening to cat 5, AND ALSO THE WEAKENING OF THE STORM.

2) In a blind panic, most of the population of Houston hit the Freeways north and northwest to escape what they saw as certain doom. In addition, the news media only gave certain evacuation routes, and did not include the route towards Mexico, which would have relived some congestion on the northern routes.

3) The mayor of Houston added to the media frenzy by getting on TV and telling the citizens of Houston pretty much the same thing as the media were telling us. Late yesterday, the mayor changed his tune and told Houstonians that if we were not in flood prone areas, we should stay where we are. But the damage had already been done.

4) The state of Texas could have, and should have, opened up opposing lanes of freeway traffic, so that all lanes led out of Houston. The only reason they eventually did it was because the freeways out of town had all become parking lots. Again, too little, too late.

5) Gasoline has all but disappeared in Houston, and on the routes out of town, so FEMA promised tankers to help motorists who had run out of gas. Guess what? The tankers never showed up. Many people were stranded because, although they had started with full tanks, traveled 20 hours without getting anywhere. Just idling their engines most of the time, and eventually ran out of gas.

So what does this all tell us? That there are many people trapped on the freeways while the storm is coming in. If the storm had stayed cat 5 and was still coming to Houston, these freeways would be death traps, and thousands would have died. But even though the storm has weakened, the NWS is now telling us that it is going to stall and dump 2-3 FEET of rain in East Texas and Arkansas. Many evacuees are still going to be on the freeways at that time, and will be on their own to try and survive.

The incompetence by our govenment, city, state, and local, was bad enough, but the mediawhores gross negligence which led to this ill-planned and executed exodus from Houston is going to be the cause of any loss of life to Houston residents. This is beyond negligence. This is criminal endangerment.

In the end, many will say that they were stirred to action by what happened with Katrina, but that is no excuse. The real reason for this fiasco is political, with government leaders, both Democratic and Republican, more concerned with their own self images than the lives of their fellow citizens they took an oath to protect and serve.

It is high time we threw all the bastards, Democratic and Republican, out of office, and begin to elect officials who will represent the people rather than their own damn selfish vanities.

Finally, I have a word about the mediawhores. Just turn off the damn idiot box TV and start living, for a change. They might need you, but you certainly dont need them.
 
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Calm2Chaos

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:2razz:

It's a no win situation. People aren't evacuated, there's bitching. People are evacuated and theres bitching.

How about we just leave everybody to the own decisions and devices. f you want to stay then stay. If you want to leave find your own ride out and leave. But alas thatere would be someone complaining about that also
 

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How did 24 people die Dan?:2wave:
 

danarhea

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Deegan said:
How did 24 people die Dan?:2wave:
A bus full of elderly evacuees with oxygen tanks caught on fire just outside of dallas, and the oxygen bottles exploded. There were 45 on board, and 24 have died so far.
 

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danarhea said:
A bus full of elderly evacuees with oxygen tanks caught on fire just outside of dallas, and the oxygen bottles exploded. There were 45 on board, and 24 have died so far.

And don't you think that those folks should have been taken out, even if you were lucky enough to be able to wait till the last minute, do you think it wise for them to wait?

Also, don't you think that accident could have happened, evacuation or not, perhaps on a field trip, or on the way to bingo?:(
 

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Deegan said:
And don't you think that those folks should have been taken out, even if you were lucky enough to be able to wait till the last minute, do you think it wise for them to wait?

Also, don't you think that accident could have happened, evacuation or not, perhaps on a field trip, or on the way to bingo?:(
No matter what happens some people are just not going to be happy
 

danarhea

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Calm2Chaos said:
:2razz:

It's a no win situation. People aren't evacuated, there's bitching. People are evacuated and theres bitching.

How about we just leave everybody to the own decisions and devices. f you want to stay then stay. If you want to leave find your own ride out and leave. But alas thatere would be someone complaining about that also
I strongly disagree with you. This IS a situation that could have been prevented on several fronts.

1) Remember that I am not a meteorologist and already knew that the storm was going to weaken, based on wind shear and moving over cooler water. How did I know this? Because NWS had predicted both the strengthening and weakening days ago, based on the shear and water temperature.

2) Producing a blind panic that has trapped people on freeways was the second mistake.

3) Not opening up opposing lanes of traffic was the third mistake.

4) FEMA not delivering on their promises of gasoline in a timely manner was the fourth.

Nowhere in my original post did I suggest that people be left to their own devices. We elect these officials to do a job, and they have done it poorly. If the government was a corporation, their heads would already have rolled by now. But we already know that if the government nationalized the beer industry, they could not produce it for under 100 dollars a six pack. That tells us that a major restructuring in the way disasters are handled needs to take place before the next screwup. As for the mediawhores, there is absolutely no excuse for the near riot of an evacutation they produced.
 

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danarhea said:
I strongly disagree with you. This IS a situation that could have been prevented on several fronts.

1) Remember that I am not a meteorologist and already knew that the storm was going to weaken, based on wind shear and moving over cooler water. How did I know this? Because NWS had predicted both the strengthening and weakening days ago, based on the shear and water temperature.
Last I heard this is still going to be a VERY strong hurricane ....
danarhea said:
2) Producing a blind panic that has trapped people on freeways was the second mistake.
If they stayed and died they would be screaming that no one did anything for them. A mass of people like that are goingt o take time to filter and move. It will not under any circumstances be a joyride with a couple million of your closest friends
danarhea said:
3) Not opening up opposing lanes of traffic was the third mistake.
I saw pictures of that happening yesterday on the news
danarhea said:
4) FEMA not delivering on their promises of gasoline in a timely manner was the fourth.
Maybe FEMA is stretched a little at the moment. I believe there was another small problem they were dealing with

[/QUOTE]
 

Deegan

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danarhea said:
I strongly disagree with you. This IS a situation that could have been prevented on several fronts.

1) Remember that I am not a meteorologist and already knew that the storm was going to weaken, based on wind shear and moving over cooler water. How did I know this? Because NWS had predicted both the strengthening and weakening days ago, based on the shear and water temperature.

2) Producing a blind panic that has trapped people on freeways was the second mistake.

3) Not opening up opposing lanes of traffic was the third mistake.

4) FEMA not delivering on their promises of gasoline in a timely manner was the fourth.

Nowhere in my original post did I suggest that people be left to their own devices. We elect these officials to do a job, and they have done it poorly. If the government was a corporation, their heads would already have rolled by now. But we already know that if the government nationalized the beer industry, they could not produce it for under 100 dollars a six pack. That tells us that a major restructuring in the way disasters are handled needs to take place before the next screwup. As for the mediawhores, there is absolutely no excuse for the near riot of an evacutation they produced.
I just think you're being unreasonable here. First they didn't do enough, now they did too much, and are to blame for setting folks in to a panic? I don't know how the government can be blamed for that, everyone in the country has witnessed what Katrina did, and they were fearful it would happen to them, as they should be. These people just made a mad dash for the hills, but I agree, I thought it odd that the other lanes were not opened up, but they explained that that side was being used for fuel trucks.
 

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Deegan said:
I just think you're being unreasonable here. First they didn't do enough, now they did too much, and are to blame for setting folks in to a panic? I don't know how the government can be blamed for that, everyone in the country has witnessed what Katrina did, and they were fearful it would happen to them, as they should be. These people just made a mad dash for the hills, but I agree, I thought it odd that the other lanes were not opened up, but they explained that that side was being used for fuel trucks.
I saw them opening both sides of the highway yesterday on the news.
 

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Deegan said:
I just think you're being unreasonable here. First they didn't do enough, now they did too much, and are to blame for setting folks in to a panic? I don't know how the government can be blamed for that, everyone in the country has witnessed what Katrina did, and they were fearful it would happen to them, as they should be. These people just made a mad dash for the hills, but I agree, I thought it odd that the other lanes were not opened up, but they explained that that side was being used for fuel trucks.
The mad dash for the hills was precipitated by local government and the media. They had the same information from the NWS that I did, yet acted irresponsibly in not taking that into consideration.

This is not about politics. I am here and see what is happening first hand. The person I blame most is the mayor, who is Democrat. The one I put the least blame on is the Governor, who is Republican. My response here is to Calm2Chaos who seems to be injecting politics into this. If I am wrong on this point, he can correct me. By the way, I dont blame Bush. LOL.

Your response is a good one, but I disagree with it entirely. If I was still living in Michigan, I might even agree with you. However, I am here, and am seeing with my own eyes. This was a reaction by politicians who, after the Katrina disaster, did not want to look bad.

On a final note: Just as the NWS predicted, based on sound science, Rita has weakened considerably to a category 3, and may be as low as cat 2 by the time it makes landfall. Too bad some people had to make knee-jerk reactions that put Houstonians in harms way without considering the evidence. After all, making the right decisions, based on fact and not hysteria, is what we pay them for.
 

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Calm2Chaos said:
I saw them opening both sides of the highway yesterday on the news.
I explained that in my first post. They only did that after the crisis on the highways was already in full stride. We pay them to make these decisions beforehand and not to put out fires once they appear, but prevent them from happening in the first place. That is why we call it disaster prevention.
 

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danarhea said:
I explained that in my first post. They only did that after the crisis on the highways was already in full stride. We pay them to make these decisions beforehand and not to put out fires once they appear, but prevent them from happening in the first place. That is why we call it disaster prevention.
Nothing is going to ever be good enough so it would seem to be a moot point.
 

danarhea

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Calm2Chaos said:
Nothing is going to ever be good enough so it would seem to be a moot point.
With all due respect, I have not seen you respond with any argument, based on facts, of your own, except to say that I am never satisified with anything. To imply that I am wrong because I might not be a nice person is not only disingenuous, but factually in error. How about some real input from you as to why you think I am wrong?
 

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danarhea said:
With all due respect, I have not seen you respond with any argument, based on facts, of your own, except to say that I am never satisified with anything. To imply that I am wrong because I might not be a nice person is not only disingenuous, but factually in error. How about some real input from you as to why you think I am wrong?
I think to start that people are stil a little spooked about Katrina. This was a storm that devastated 90,000 square miles and displaced millions. This disaster like it or not was a one of a kind. I don't remeber ever seeing anything like this anywhere. And there may have been some over reaction to Rita. But I don't think you can blame freak mishaps like the bus on anyone. At the time Rita was a CAT4-5. And as much as you study the radar, YOU do not no whats going to happen. Ophelia proved that as it wobbled completely unpredictable around the carolinas.
They knew it would weaken, but there was no telling by how much. As I have said in the other post you don't evacuate millions without a traffic jam. They did open the South bound lanes for Northbound traffic. But from my understanding they still needed to bring things into the area so this was'nt done right away. I don't know if it was a move by the politicians to not look bad or it was a move to make sure that they weren't caught with millions in places they can't get to them at. I agree there may be some over reaction, but in the end there going to tell you they would rather be safe then sorry. Unfortunately that cost people there lives in an accident that nobody could see coming. But if you spin this coin just a bit and Rita at a 4 or 5 slams directly into the coast. There would be millions thanking everybody they got out. I think FEMA is a little haggard right now, That might be the reason for the delay
 

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Calm2Chaos said:
I think to start that people are stil a little spooked about Katrina. This was a storm that devastated 90,000 square miles and displaced millions. This disaster like it or not was a one of a kind. I don't remeber ever seeing anything like this anywhere. And there may have been some over reaction to Rita. But I don't think you can blame freak mishaps like the bus on anyone. At the time Rita was a CAT4-5. And as much as you study the radar, YOU do not no whats going to happen. Ophelia proved that as it wobbled completely unpredictable around the carolinas.
They knew it would weaken, but there was no telling by how much. As I have said in the other post you don't evacuate millions without a traffic jam. They did open the South bound lanes for Northbound traffic. But from my understanding they still needed to bring things into the area so this was'nt done right away. I don't know if it was a move by the politicians to not look bad or it was a move to make sure that they weren't caught with millions in places they can't get to them at. I agree there may be some over reaction, but in the end there going to tell you they would rather be safe then sorry. Unfortunately that cost people there lives in an accident that nobody could see coming. But if you spin this coin just a bit and Rita at a 4 or 5 slams directly into the coast. There would be millions thanking everybody they got out. I think FEMA is a little haggard right now, That might be the reason for the delay
That was the kind of response I was looking for. Intelligent and thought out. Thank you.

When I turned to Channel 13 to see how they were dealing with the situation, they were showing huge graphics that this storm WAS going to cause hurricane winds almost halfway to Dallas, when in fact there was no way it would do that. How do I know that? Because the NWS, based on sound science, said so. They took the drier air over southeast Texas into account, along with wind shear patterns that could ONLY cause the storm to weaken, along with the facts that the storm would eventually move over cooler water on its way to the Texas coast. Their prediction was made about a week ago that the storm would intensify to a cat 5 then weaken considerably. Our government, having been made to look very idiotic during Katrina responded in a way so as not to once again look bad. Unfortunately, they paid no attention whatsoever to the sound data from the NWS, but took a position that was extreme, and also a position that no way was true.

While Katrina was a gross underreaction, Rita was a gross overreaction. Once again, we pay our government officials to do their jobs properly. If our local leaders were CEO's of corporations, they would have been immediately sacked for incompetence. But this is the government, where the beer industry, if nationalized, could not be produced for less than 100 dollars a six pack.

So, in the end, what do we learn from all this? We learn how to pick our leaders better, or these kinds of cluster<insert f word here>s will continue to happen. I am not fond of the Republican party at all, but on the other hand, I refuse to support a Democrat who can make a mistake as huge as this. I am talking about the mayor of Houston, Bill White. Was never crazy about him, but now I can tell you he is really a dog. But we got the kind of government we elected, so we got what we deserved.
 

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Calm2Chaos said:
I saw them opening both sides of the highway yesterday on the news.
I didn't on MSNBC or CNN. I did see a completely empty inbound lane and a outbound lane moving at a snails pace.
 
H

HTColeman

I know what you mean, I had to calm my mother down because the news media had told her that the Hurricane would be so strong that it would continue up to Dallas/Ft. Worth area. When has a Hurricane ever hit Dallas? That is just ridiculous. I am sitting here right now in Ruston, LA (east of Shreveport) and I just have some rain and wind.
 

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HTColeman said:
I know what you mean, I had to calm my mother down because the news media had told her that the Hurricane would be so strong that it would continue up to Dallas/Ft. Worth area. When has a Hurricane ever hit Dallas? That is just ridiculous. I am sitting here right now in Ruston, LA (east of Shreveport) and I just have some rain and wind.
Lake Charles got beat up pretty badly. I hope people are OK there. In Houston we just got some downed trees, signs, and that was pretty much it. Almost a million homes lost power, but mine was not among them. Am thankful for that. After Alicia in 1983, I was without power for a week, and my fraternity's house at U of H had no power for 5 weeks.

With your post, you have just given another a good reason why people should just pull the plug on network and cable news, and not watch it again. It is not real news - its nothing more than infotainment.
 

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Next time consider investing in one of the Texas State Atlases showing the alternate routes; especially the farm to market roads; most of which are excellent. I carry one in each vehicle.

The other thing to do is to move out of Houston. I avoid that place like the plague. Too many people, too much traffic, too many crazy drivers. I'd rather be horse whipped than drive through or near Houston.
 

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Missouri Mule said:
Next time consider investing in one of the Texas State Atlases showing the alternate routes; especially the farm to market roads; most of which are excellent. I carry one in each vehicle.

The other thing to do is to move out of Houston. I avoid that place like the plague. Too many people, too much traffic, too many crazy drivers. I'd rather be horse whipped than drive through or near Houston.
Move out of Houston? No way. Lived in Michigan before I came here, and you know what? Michigan really sucks, compared to Texas. You are right about the drivers though, but I got used to it. Have never been in an accident here, because when I drive, I always leave myself an out. Let the crazies kill themselves, but I will just continue to drive defensively and enjoy a low insurance rate. However, not all drivers in Texas are buttheads. I have found drivers in the DFW area to be some of the most considerate I have ever seen. OK, so Dallas has something over Houston, but hell, we have a better football team - Go Oilers....... Ooops, never mind. We have the Texans now, and they REALLY suck. :)
 
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danarhea said:
Move out of Houston? No way. Lived in Michigan before I came here, and you know what? Michigan really sucks, compared to Texas. You are right about the drivers though, but I got used to it. Have never been in an accident here, because when I drive, I always leave myself an out. Let the crazies kill themselves, but I will just continue to drive defensively and enjoy a low insurance rate. However, not all drivers in Texas are buttheads. I have found drivers in the DFW area to be some of the most considerate I have ever seen. OK, so Dallas has something over Houston, but hell, we have a better football team - Go Oilers....... Ooops, never mind. We have the Texans now, and they REALLY suck. :)
What's so special about Houston? I could probably name a dozen other places I would rather live in Texas. Austin, Tyler, Longview, and Lufkin come to mind among others. Houston would be on the bottom of the list. I'm not trying to badmouth Houston if you need all of that congestion and traffic but having to evacuate for a hurricane would be the last straw as far as I am concerned.
 

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Missouri Mule said:
What's so special about Houston? I could probably name a dozen other places I would rather live in Texas. Austin, Tyler, Longview, and Lufkin come to mind among others. Houston would be on the bottom of the list. I'm not trying to badmouth Houston if you need all of that congestion and traffic but having to evacuate for a hurricane would be the last straw as far as I am concerned.
All you have to do is look at the way Houstonians came together to help out victims of Katrina. Its the people. Not saying that people in Austin, or any other city in Texas would be different, but my experience of 30 years of living in Houston has all been good. I have no complaints whatsoever. Try living here for a few years before you judge Houston. I dont mean visit, but actually live here, and get to know your neighbors. I can almost guarantee that you will change your mind about this city. :)
 

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danarhea said:
All you have to do is look at the way Houstonians came together to help out victims of Katrina. Its the people. Not saying that people in Austin, or any other city in Texas would be different, but my experience of 30 years of living in Houston has all been good. I have no complaints whatsoever. Try living here for a few years before you judge Houston. I dont mean visit, but actually live here, and get to know your neighbors. I can almost guarantee that you will change your mind about this city. :)
I'm not knocking Houston or Houstonians. I just wondered why you would want to live there. If you are happy, I am happy for you. It is just too big for me and I don't need the traffic aggravation, or the potential for hurricanes.

I came to Texas four years ago to escape the winter snow, ice and cold in Missouri. But I always wanted a small town with close in services and stores. I just really don't like large cities. I guess I am getting old.
 

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scottyz said:
I didn't on MSNBC or CNN. I did see a completely empty inbound lane and a outbound lane moving at a snails pace.
Guess I saw it and you didn't then. Was a nice arieal shot from a helo of traffic driving down both sides of the highway.
 
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